Crepe Soles

Soft, squishy and ugly . . . nothing was as comfortable as the crepe-soled shoe. Like walking on a cloud, crepe soles had that unattractive look of orthopedic shoes but were heavenly to the feet. Crepe soles had been around since the 50’s when Teddy Boys adopted the crepe-soled brothel creeper for their uniform. The(…)


Danskin dance apparel got their big break after movies like Fame and Flashdancemade their big-screen debut in the early 80s. Danskin offered legwarmers, tights, swimsuits, dance skirts, leotards, dance shoes, and even headbands. When Jazzercise and aerobics became the craze after Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit single Physical and Jamie Lee Curtis’ starring role in Perfect, Danskin offered pastel colours like baby(…)

Davy Crockett Caps

Thanks to Walt Disney and his Disneyland TV series, the pioneer spirit of frontiersman Davy Crockett came into the family rooms across America in 1954, spawning a coonskin cap craze among children. Davy’s courage and honour led him to be a national hero, and kids everywhere wanted a piece of the action. Even though the(…)

Desert Boots

While there are no deserts in England, there was a group of style-conscious youngsters who adopted Clarks’ desert boot for their mod uniform. Clarks of England, the maker of rugged and stylish footwear since the beginning of the 20th century, were behind the shoe of choice for the trendsetting modernists. The boot was simplistic but(…)

Designer Clothes

From the beginning of the 1980s, the discreet clothes label inside a garment moved to the outside, where the designer label made a style statement – primarily that the wearer could afford the gear!

Digital Watches

The first models (circa 1972) were very expensive and featured a flat black screen. One needed to press a small button on the side to see the time light up inside. These were LED (Light Emitting Diode) watches. The pulsar, from HMW, was the first all-electronic wristwatch. The pulsar utilised LED that would light up(…)

Dingo Boots

About 1977 these were the craze, usually worn with Gaucho pants (these were just below the knee and usually corduroy). Most of the boots had rubber souls. Famously advertised by O J Simpson.

Disco Fashion

Synthetics (satin, polyester, velour) Gold lamé Designer clothes and shoes (Gucci, YSL, Charles Jourdan) French Cut Jeans Gaudy polyester shirts High-waisted super wide pantsuits Short bomber jackets Strappy high-heels Spandex bodysuits Slinky wraparound skirts Halter tops Tube tops Blouses with puffy sleeves and wide gathered waists Tiny gold belts Tuxedo striped hot pants Off-the-shoulder flowing(…)

Doc Martens

After a certain Dr. Maerten injured his foot in a skiing accident in 1949, he and partner Dr. Funck created a revolutionary sole that trapped air inside two layers of rubber polyurethane. Originally marketed as orthopaedic shoes and sold to housewives, Dr. Maerten sold the cushioned sole rights to Bill Griggs in 1958, and the(…)

Duffle Coats

John Partridge, a British purveyor of outerwear, began to design and offer the duffle coat for sale in 1887. The look back then was quite different from today, though it already featured the characteristic wooden toggles. A few years later, the Royal Navy was searching for a hard-wearing, sailor-proof coat, and so the British Admiralty(…)

Earth Shoes

Everyone slipped into a pair of Anne Kals Minus Heel Shoes in the 70s, but nobody called them that. Making their American debut in 1970, around the time of the very first Earth Day, the shoes were renamed after the environmentally conscious movement and dubbed ‘Earthshoes’. The ergonomically-designed Earthshoes were actually created in 1957 by(…)

Empire Line Dresses

1960s eclecticism created and revitalised many different styles of dress, and the age-old empire line became the freshest look of the adolescent revival. The empire line waist dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where the style was one of the first fitting measures used for women in the bulky, sheet-like togas. The empire line(…)


Started by husband and wife team Doug and Suzie Thompkins in 1968 as the Plain Jane Dress Company, Esprit became one of the biggest apparel companies of the 1980s. The Thompkins sold their first garments (1940s-inspired dresses) from the back of their station wagon, and within two years were able to hire a team of(…)

False Eyelashes

False eyelashes were already a common accessory for women by the 1960s, but when Twiggy’s long and lush lashes made her famous, girls wanted the fringed frames for their face. Bold, bright eyes were made even stronger with heavy black eyeliner and massive false eyelashes. Eyes were exaggerated with the addition of long, black stick-on(…)

Fashion in the 1950s

The 1950s: The teenage lifestyle is born, and with it come bobby socks and boppers, poodle skirts and pompadours. Ballerina Pumps Beehive Hair Bermuda Shorts Bobbie Brooks Bobby Socks Brothel Creepers Brylcreem Bullet Bra Capri Pants Car Coats Chinos Circle Skirts Crepe Soles Davy Crockett Caps ID Bracelets Keds Letterman Sweaters Levi 501s Mary Janes(…)

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